Your Brand Improve your Image!
You have spent all this time trying to build your brand. However, you seriously need to improve your image first!
You have everything you need, the will to succeed with a “Go get’em” attitude. But you’re not making money yet and your already out upwards of $700 dollars on licensing and fees. How could anyone in their right mind suggest you spend more money?
No questions asked, spend that money up front and it will pay you back quickly by making you stand out in the crowd.
Please remember when you read this, I have tried to get affiliate programs set up before I posted this and could not quick enough. That is actually a good thing for you as my opinions stated here are NOT influenced by an affiliate program.
First things first!
Get a domain
Do this as soon as you find your business name to improve your image. I suggest doing this first because it may influence your choice of business names. If you are wanting to name your business “Example” search www.example.com and if it is available grab the domain and name your business. If www.example.com is taken, you might look for www.OKExample.com and name your business Oklahoma Example. You will want these two to match as close as possible so it is easy for people to remember.
There are plenty of options for domains. I started out using WordPress.com their prices have gone up now and are around $8.25 at time of posting for a .com domain. This will get you up and running quick and is a great idea if you’re not real computer savvy.
If you are a little more computer savvy and can handle basic setup I have been using GoDaddy.com it is currently $11.99 per Year for a domain name.
Even if you’re not going to use it, I can not stress enough GET IT. And one last thing on GoDaddy, don’t fall for the up sales such as email YET.
Email is the main reason I said get your domain first! I want to put you in your clients shoes for a second. If you see someone posing as a “Professional” in the field and their email says email@example.com and the next person has an email that says Jeff@ServerJeff.com which would you view as more professional? It really is a rhetorical question, when someone emails me from a yahoo.com, gmail.com or suddenlink.com email address I always view this as a personal account. When someone emails me from a business domain (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org ) I view them as someone representing a business.
Now I know you are thinking in your head “why didn’t I get the email option from GoDaddy up sale?” The answer is simple, your already out money so why would you want to spend more than you have to?
At this point of improving your image, if you’re not a tech nerd and didn’t go ahead and jump on the Web Hosting packages at GoDaddy (I did) head on over to ZOHO. ZOHO offers FREE business email with up to 25 different separate users. I know 25 sounds like a lot of users but you will thank me later down the road. Follow through their tutorial and setup your domain to work with Zoho mail.
At this time, you are ready to present yourself as a professional. After your are done with this article visit my other post Improving your Business Presence for ideas on how to use these new tools.
Side Notes and Conclusions
Let me leave you with a quick recap. Most importantly, get a domain name. This will secure your business name and prepare you for future growth while limiting your potential for problems down the road with a miss matched business name and domain.
Get email setup before you start contacting clients, this will allow you to look professional out the gate and will give you a foot up against the people who are competing against you in business.
Don’t stress about getting a website up front. With that being said, don’t wait too long to act on this even if it is just a quick single welcome page that lists your email!
Other things you should be considering at this stage are:
- Separate phone number just for the business (Did you know you can also get this without getting a separate phone and it is FREE?)
- Serve or Paperwork manager (you will get the pun if you have read other posts or later on in a follow-up post.)
- Fully functional Website to help Marketing yourself
- Social Media interaction